Finally to the rescue
They plan to take up the case of sick, abandoned and destitute animals and by the looks of it are serious this time round. Having earned a dubious reputation ever since their inception ten years back, the People For Animals (PFA) Lucknow Chapter, are now all set to earn the city folks trust post a total revamp of their management and working committee.
Says Anand Sharma, the newly elected President of PFA Lucknow, "A lot has been changed within PFA as the need to involve more youth was being felt by all. All the good work being done was going in vain as a lot credibility was being lost due to the loss of trust of the people. So Maneka Gandhi too decided to make some positive changes and since the past five months we have been functioning as a new team. We have improved the shelter at Hanskhera at Para and begun to answer rescue calls regularly as well."
A charitable organisation formed to champion the cause of stray animals, PFA has a nationwide network that has over 2.5 lakh members, 180 units and 26 hospitals. The main objective of which is to uphold the rights of the animals by giving them shelter, medical care and checking atrocities on them. All of these services will now also be available to animals in Lucknow.
Explains PK Sharma, a well known vet who is also among the newly elected trustees, "There is so much focus on highlighting the negatives of PFA that no one sees the fact that ours is the only animal rights group that has achieved hundred percent success rate in the ABC sterilization programme we have taken on. The effort and intention both is to get relief to a suffering animal as soon as possible, for which we have strategies planned, an ABC infrastructure in collaboration with Animal Welfare Board and the Lucknow Nagar Nigam is also on the anvil and will shortly begin in the city."
As upbeat as that sounds one of their biggest challenge remains the hostile attitude of the police. With most police thanas not as amicable as one would like them to be where animal rights is concerned, the rescue operations become cumbersome for PFA volunteers. But the new President has that worked out as well.
“Police sensitisation is among the top of our priority list as their intervention is a must in cases of altercation. Apart from that sometimes we have to book people under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act and it is very essential to lodge FIRs. But the police do not cooperate, in addition we plan to also hold awareness drives at various thanas in the city to make the police aware of Section 34 IPC of Police Act 1861 which empowers then to arrest offenders of cruelty to animals without a warrant,” avers Sharma.
So far so good as PFA plans to target no less than 600 districts in UP to promote vegetarianism, advocate compulsory introduction of education of animal rights in schools, establish a veterinary hospital and to launch a membership drive apart from focussing on animal treatment and medication.
With so much planned for the animals in UP PFA Lucknow is more than eager to set the record straight where animal rights is concerned. As informs Kavita Dass, a trustee of PFA, “aim is do something constructive and that cannot be done without the support of the people. A beginning has been made by PFA and a new helpline number has also been installed on 9236012078 and animal lovers can also reach us on mail at email@example.com.”
(The author is a Special Correspondent to Citizen News Service (CNS) and also the Director of Saaksham Foundation. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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